FOOD and nutrition stakeholders have called for increased access to enough amounts of safe and nutritious food as a key to sustaining life and promoting good health in the country. They said food is becoming toxic and unsafe for consumers because of unique challenges from production to consumption.
Director of the National Food Security Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Honest Kessy said widespread use of fertilisers, pesticides and crop preservatives contaminate food and threaten the lives of consumers.
"You find tomatoes being sprayed today and tomorrow they are in the market... livestock keepers inject the cow today and tomorrow they send the milk to the market, there is no food security there," he pointed out Speaking during the National Food Systems Summit Dialogue in Dar es Salaam yesterday, he said that the government acknowledges the role of food systems and the importance of how we produce, process, trade and consume food to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The one-day meeting is part of Tanzania's continued preparations for the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) that UN Secretary-General António Guterres will meet in September this year.
Guided by five Action Tracks, the Summit will bring together key players from various sectors, including government, the business community, healthcare, academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organizations, consumer groups and environmental activists.
A member of parliament (Special seats), Ms Neema Rugangira said safe and nutritious food is crucial now than any other time.
"In response to some of the challenges in the country's food system, the agricultural budget should be increased and education on various issues be extended for better agriculture and better nutrition to be provided in abundance in the country," she said As a UN member state, Tanzania has joined 150 other countries in the world in conducting sub-national dialogues.
Since May 2021, the country has held dialogues across the mainland and in Zanzibar to identify national priorities and innovative ways of strengthening food systems and improving food and nutrition security in the country.